White Rose Frozen Is Still Blooming

New York City's oldest and largest independent wholesale grocer delivers low-cost goods along with exceptional service from its freezer facility.

For over a century, White Rose has delivered unparalleled quality and service for both its customers and employees—and Dengelegi says it will continue to do so moving forward “White Rose is a very family-oriented company—there’s a lot of loyalty here and they take the employees into consideration when they make big decisions,” says Dengelegi

Canty agrees. “You never feel like an outsider here and we service our customers the same way. We don’t make our truckers wait here for eight hours like they do at other places. You can’t service anybody like that—whether it’s the trucker, the customer or the employee—you have to take care of them. And that’s what we do.”

White Rose Frozen Foods At A Glance

Independent food distributor based in Carteret, NJ
Founded: 1886
2009 sales volume: $200 million
Employees: 85
Customer base: 752
Service area: Connecticut, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia
Size of warehouse: 240,000 square feet (220,000
sq. ft. frozen/ 20,000 sq. ft. refrigerated)
Average number of SKUs: 3,658
Average orders per day: 250
Average cartons shipped per day: 40,000
Average number of pallets per day: 1,300
Inventory accuracy: 99.99 percent
Order accuracy: 99.99 percent

A Brief History

White Rose has a long and storied past. The company was founded as Seeman Bros. & Doremus by Joseph and Sigel Seeman in 1886, after they failed to convince their uncle to switch his wholesale grocery business from cash-and-carry to delivery. By the turn of the century, the company, now an established wholesaler known as Seeman Bros., was also producing canned goods under the “White Rose” label. Today, White Rose brands are still very popular, featuring more than 850 items.

Seeman Bros. continued to expand through a series of acquisitions from the 1940s through the early 1960s, including the purchase of Seabrook Farms Co. in 1960, which brought the company into the frozen food business.

The company sold its wholesale business, including the White Rose label, to Di Giorgio Corp. in 1965. Di Giorgio acquired another New York area wholesaler, Met Food Corp., which became a subsidiary that included the former Seeman wholesale operation. By 1973, Met Food was the largest grocery wholesaler in the area, distributing dry goods, frozen foods and dairy products from a warehouse in Farmingdale, Long Island. It changed its name to White Rose in 1974.

In 1989 White Rose acquired Pioneer Food Stores Co-op and bought the Global division of Sysco Corp. in 1992. Two years, later Di Giorgio purchased Royal Foods from Fleming Cos.

In 1995, White Rose relocated and consolidated all of its distribution facilities in New Jersey. The dairy division was moved to Avenel, NJ, while the grocery and frozen food divisions were relocated to facilities in Carteret, NJ, where they remain today.

In 2006, White Rose merged with Associated Wholesales Inc. (AWI), Robesonia, PA.

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